Should the Cowboys trade up for a guard?

IRVING, Texas – In an ideal world the Cowboys would love to see Jonathan Cooper or Chance Warmack be available with the No. 18 pick in the first round.

Some might call that a fantasy world.

So do the Cowboys trade up, even a smidge, to get one of them in tonight’s first round?

With so many teams reportedly looking to move down, the cost might not be so prohibitive. I’ve been fairly strong in my belief that the Cowboys need as many early picks as possible, but if it costs a fourth-rounder to move up a couple of spots I could be talked into it.

But there is also this to remember from last year’s draft: high-level people with the team last year felt taking guard David DeCastro at No. 14 was too high. Pittsburgh took DeCastro with the No. 24 pick.

If they felt No. 14 was too rich for the best guard in last year’s draft, then does it make sense to trade up higher than that for this year’s top guards?

Some believe DeCastro was a better prospect than Cooper and Warmack. Others believe differently. It’s not clear how the Cowboys compare the players. An element to the decision has to be the position. Rightly or wrongly safeties and guards are not as valued as other positions.

Unlike last year’s draft, this year’s crop of players does not have the top-end skill players. Perhaps that has pushed Cooper and Warmack up the boards of many teams. Perhaps that’s why DeCastro was available at No. 24 last year.

Last year the Cowboys had just paid decent money to Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau in free agency before the draft. Why take a guard in the first round when you just gave Livings a $3.5 million signing bonus and Bernadeau a $3.25 million bonus?

This year the Cowboys know what they have in Livings and Bernadeau, which could make them more inclined to go the guard route this year even if it costs them a little bit more.